What Is A Dogleg In Golf? – Explained!

what is a dogleg in golf

Golf is known to be a technical sport full of expressions and technical terms that you may not know the meaning of. One of those expressions often thrown out in conversation and television broadcasts is the word “Dogleg”.

If you are reading this article, you may wonder: What exactly does “Dogleg” mean in golf?

In this article, we will explain to you exactly what a Dogleg is in golf, along with an example to solidify your comprehension.

What Is A Dogleg In Golf?

In golf, a Dogleg is a golf hole that has two straight segments that are at an angle relative to each other. After the first straight segment, a dogleg golf hole turns left or right with a significant angle. A dogleg golf hole has a shape very similar to that of a real dog’s leg.

In the great game of golf, the term “Dogleg” is a word that is fairly common to hear. Most golfers have heard of the term “Dogleg” before, as Doglegs are present on many golf courses.

In golf, a Dogleg is a golf hole shaped like a real dog’s leg. In other words, a Dogleg is a golf hole with two straight segments that are at an angle relative to each other. After the first straight of a dogleg, there is a fairly sharp turn towards the next straight segment.

Dogleg golf holes add some trickiness relative to straight golf holes, as you can easily end up in the rough if you hit the ball too long or too short. Golfers can also opt for curved shots to turn around the dogleg bend, provided they have the skill and power to perform such shots.

Doglegs are generally welcome by golfers because they are a nice change compared to the very common straight golf holes. Doglegs allow for a different kind of challenge, with different strategies and golf course management skills to employ for a good score.

You can see a real-world example of a Dogleg, down below, with the red contour indicating the outline of the Dogleg hole.

what is a dogleg in golf

In the image above, you can see that the Dogleg is has two main sections that are fairly straight, each at an angle relative to each other. In this case, the angle is about 60 degrees between the two straights.

The angle between the straights in a dogleg can be very different from one golf hole design to the next. The angles can easily vary between 10 and 90 degrees between the two straight sections of a dogleg golf hole.

If a Dogleg is turning towards the right, you would call it a “Dogleg right”. If a Dogleg is turning towards the left, you would call it a “Dogleg left”.

Some people also use words to quickly illustrate the intensity of a dogleg’s angle. For example, for a dogleg hole with a large angle between its two straights, someone might call it a “hard dogleg” or a “sharp dogleg”.

For a dogleg with a smaller angle between is straights, someone might call it a “slight dogleg”, or a “soft dogleg”.

Doglegs are typically longer holes, notably because of the bend they feature. Dogleg golf holes are often par 4 or par 5 holes, and sometimes par 3.

If there are trees surrounding the contour of the dogleg golf hole, then you can usually not go for a straight drive towards the putting green. Especially if the trees are very high, you will not have visibility of the flag, and it will be challenging to get the golf ball though or above the trees.

A dogleg hole’s contour can also sometimes be surrounded by water hazards and bunkers, making them even riskier holes to play.

In such cases, more inexperienced players are recommended to play safe shots that are a bit shorter than the perfect distance one would prefer to hit the ball.

The term Dogleg’s origin is visually based. In fact, a Dogleg is a golf hole that looks like an actual real dog’s leg, which is where it holds its name from.

If you would like to lower your golf score and improve your chances of navigating through Doglegs efficiently, you can read our guide: How To Improve Your Golf Score? – 9 Pro Tips.

Conclusion

There you go! After reading this article, you have learned exactly what the term Dogleg means in golf. You also got to see a real-world example to further improve your understanding of the meaning of a Dogleg.

Do you have any other words you wish to know more about? Do you like Dogleg golf hole designs? Let us know in the comments down below!